NHS Dudley Public Health recently launched a new campaign to highlight the importance of cervical screening and encourage uptake of the free test in the borough.

The campaign, which carries the message ‘your smear test is more than skin deep’, targets 25-29 year old women in the area with the aim of not only reinforcing the significance of the test but to actively encourage women to view the test as an essential part of their health and beauty routine.

Adverts, which also stress the importance of being ‘beautiful on the outside and inside’, are on buses, in pharmacies, GP surgeries and local pubs and clubs and have been accompanied by a series of radio adverts on Free Radio.

To support the campaign a micro-site has been created which provides valuable advice about the test and what women should expect when going for the first time, together with a Facebook page to connect with the target audience.

Joy Boyes, Behaviour Change Intervention Officer for Dudley Public Health, comments: “Reducing the risk of cervical cancer is dependent on high levels of women accepting their invitation to attend a screening.

"This campaign actively targets women aged 25-29 as unfortunately if women don’t attend screening at this age, then they don’t tend to take up screening later on. The campaign really looks to identify with the target audience by putting women’s minds at rest with regards to what a smear test actually involves.

"We’ve also tried to make the adverts as feminine and ‘non-medical’ as possible to drive home the message that the test is a simple procedure which should be considered as part of a woman’s health and beauty routine to ensure they stay beautiful on the inside and out.”

The NHS offers a free smear (or cervical screening) test for all women aged 25-64 years. For more information visit www.morethanskindeep.org.uk